December 9, 2016


With a camera phone at your fingertips, it’s easy to snap photos for any occasion. But getting the right shots with the right lighting, composure and meaning takes a true professional. Meticulous planning is crucial when preparing for a photoshoot, especially when a photographer needs to shoot hundreds of photos.

Leverage these six tools for a less stressful experience:

  1. Model releases
    You’ve gathered the models. Ready to shoot? Hold on—make sure they sign on the dotted line. Always inform models how their photos will be used, and confirm consent before they start posing. Print extra model releases for the day-of; don’t miss an opportunity to use a photo of an interesting community character because you didn’t get permission.

  2. Contact information
    Hopping from place to place makes it difficult to keep track of names, phone numbers and who should be arriving when and where. Print out contact information for everyone involved—from the photographer to the models to the prop guy. Stay connected at all times.

  3. By-the-minute driving schedules
    From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, every minute should be planned. Calculate drive times beforehand, and add in enough wiggle room for bumps in the road. Give your photographer time to explore the location for the best lighting, but make sure you’re not wasting your models’ time while they wait to be in the shot.

  4. Stock images
    Not sure what images you need? Send example images to the photographer, and bring them along for inspiration. Search on ThinkStock or GettyImages, and use keywords to explore creative ways to shoot your locations. Need photos at a brewery? Search “pouring beer” and see where it takes you.

  5. Detailed shot list
    List the photos you know you need and imagine the details for every location. If you’re shooting at a restaurant, does the restaurant have funky lighting? What’s the decor? Is there a particularly picturesque entrée or dessert? Write out every possible shot and bring along a copy. Don’t ever run out of ideas. Encourage the photographer to take diverse shots—close-ups, medium-length and wide-angle photos—to complete a robust portfolio.

  6. Wardrobe planner
    Save time Photoshopping and tinkering with photos by telling models beforehand what outfits to wear. Encourage models to wear muted and solid colored clothing, minimal jewelry and comfortable footwear that fits the environment. Avoid clothing with logos, white reflective clothing, t-shirts with graphics and funky small patterns.

What tools do you use to manage a photoshoot? Tweet us at @JayRayAdsPR.